Anal, sex, toys and pleasure - here's our guide on how to ensure that your anal adventures are always sensual and pleasurable, and never painful!
The closest erogenous zone to the genitals, the anus is richly endowed with highly responsive nerve endings, which become even more sensitive during arousal and throb pleasurably during orgasm, so there's every reason to explore anal pleasure...
Anal Pleasure For Women & Female Bodies
- Anal penetration stimulates the clitoral legs, the two internal shafts of erectile tissue of the clitoris.
- The membranes between the vagina and the rectum are thin enough for the G-Spot to be stimulated during anal penetration.
Anal Pleasure For Men & Male Bodies
- Half of the penis is inside the body, going back almost all the way to the anus. Anal penetration can offer pleasure from the inside and out!
- Male bodies have a hot spot called the prostate located inside the rectum. The P-spot can deliver mind-blowing orgasms that apparantly are explosively different from penis-powered ones!
Is anal sex always painful?
It has a bad reputation for being painful, but anal sex should never hurt.
Inside the anus are two sets of sphincter muscles. The first set can be tensed at will, while the second constricts involuntarily. This is why, even if you are trying to relax, your body might resist. This is when anal sex can hurt and forcing the issue will only result in the muscles resisting further.
Patience and a slow, teasing pace are essential to relaxing anal muscles and enjoying anal sex. If it hurts, you need to slow down and/or use more lubricant. Only by taking as much time as your body needs to open up, and by using plenty of lube, will the tush be kept safe, happy, and relaxed enough to enjoy anal penetration.
Lube is essential for all anal sex, including when using toys.
The anus doesn't self-lubricate and naturally resists if stimulation doesn't feel smooth and resistance-free. Adding lube ensures that everything is kept super-sensual and deliciously slippery.
Anal lubricant is thicker and lasts longer than regular lube, which is why it is recommended for anal play. Put a generous dollop of lube on the tip of your toy and the anus. Wipe off any excess to ensure you can keep a firm hold on the toy.
Sensual, pain-free anal sex is ALL about being relaxed
If worrying about poo will make you tense, then starting your anal adventure in the shower is the best way to ensure you feel fresh and relaxed. And, while it's not essential and not a sex toy in the true sense (though it can feel pleasurable), a douche will give you extra confidence about being clean for your sesh.
If you choose to douche before play, give yourself enough time to expel all water before getting down to the hot action. Plan ahead and use the douche about two to three hours before you expect to get sexy. Ignoring the time between douching and playing may mean that you get an unwelcome rush of water gushing out, so... give your body time to rid itself of the dirty water.
Latex gloves turn hands and fingers into smooth operators
Snaggy or long nails might hurt the delicate anal area. A cut on your hands or bitten-down fingernails may make manual anal play unsafe. Or maybe you feel squeamish about using hands or fingers for anal play? Latex gloves has got you covered!
Latex gloves (or non-latex gloves if you have a latex allergy) take care of a multitude of sins and make your fingers and nails smooth for ass-fingering.
All sex toys destined for the butt must be anal-safe
There are 3 things to check for before introducing your tush to a sex toy.
1. Anal-Safe Design
Just as the anus is an exit, it's also an entrance. Toys can get lost up there. Make sure your anal sex toy has one of these at the non-insertable end:
- A wide or flared base that acts as a 'stop' no matter how excited you get.
- A long handle that you can keep a firm grip upon.
- A ring in which to slip your finger and hold on tight.
2. Smooth, Non-Porous Surface
The butt is a delicate flower with thin skin, so any sex toy for anal play needs to be smooth and seamless. For peace of mind, it should also be non-porous so it can easily be cleaned/sterilized.
3. Flexible enough to bend with the natural curves of the anus
Once you get about four inches inside, the anal canal swoops in a lazy S-shape. Any toy longer than four inches should be flexible to avoid 'bumping' into the curves and feeling painful or uncomfortable.
Anal Sex Toy Materials
Hygiene is a crucial factor when we're talking bum fun. The best anal sex toys are made from non-porous materials that can be cleaned and sterilised thoroughly.
Silicone: This is the best material for anal sex toys. Silicone is sensual, soft, flexible, non-porous, and easy to keep clean. If the anal toy is non-vibrating or contains a removable bullet, you can sterilize it. Use water-based lube with silicone toys, as silicone-based lube can start to degrade the smooth surface of your toy.
Glass: Smooth, and firm, glass delivers sensually sleek sensations like no other sex toy material. You can use any lubricant with glass, and a little goes a long way. Glass toys can be warmed by running under warm water before you play. Like silicone, glass toys can be sterilized. As glass is a firm, non-yielding material, anal toys made of this material are best used by anal experts rather than newbies.
Steel: Very similar to glass, but steel has an added weightiness that feels sensational when used anally. The weight makes for incredible prostate massage, and anal toys made of steel are less likely to pop out during use, which can happen with lighter butt plugs. Again, as it's such an un-yielding material, we don't recommend steel plugs or dildos for anal play beginners.
The materials listed above are body-safe, which means they won't absorb anything from your body or disclose any substances (chemicals) into your body.
Pro tip: Condoms can be used on anal sex toys for quick & easy clean up.
The 5 types of anal sex toys:
Understanding the sensations delivered by anal toys is key to choosing the anal toy for you. Choosing your first anal toy can be mind-boggling, so we'll briefly describe the distinct sensations each type delivers.
1. Butt Plugs
A butt plug is a stay-put anal sex toy, designed to be worn. The narrow neck of a butt plug prompts the sphincter to squeeze around its slimmest point, thus holding it in place.
Butt plugs are not designed to be moved in and out but eased inside where they stay put, providing a pleasurable feeling of fullness and pressure. Plugs often need a hand to keep them in place as it's the body's natural reflex to 'expel' from this area. This is normal doesn't mean that your bum is overreacting or something is wrong with the butt plug.
Butt plugs are available in both vibrating and non-vibrating options in different sizes.
2. Anal Dildos
A dildo used as anal sex toy will give smoother penetrative sensations
A dildo is best for a sliding-in-and-out feeling or for anal sex with a strap-on. Worn in a harness or used hand-held, a dildo (rather than a butt plug) is best for delivering smooth, penetrative sensation as there's no sphincter stop for the anal muscles to close around.
In our anal dildo section, we have listed our most popular dildos for anal pleasure, but all Sh! silicone dildos are safe for anal play.
3. Anal Beads
Anal Beads deliver the repeated feeling of anal muscles opening and closing One of the most accessible sex toys for beginners is anal beads, a flexible string of molded beads with a sphincter stop after each bead.
Anal beads are great if you enjoy the feeling of anal muscles repeatedly opening and contracting as you experience this sensation with each new bead. Anal beads usually graduate in size from smaller to larger.
Read More: Beginners Guide to Anal Beads
4. Anal Vibrators
An anal vibrator can help relax anal muscles. The shape of an anal vibrator will give you a clue as to the kind of pleasure it will deliver. A stay-put butt plug, 'popping' anal beads, in-and-out penetration, prostate massage - but it also vibrates.
The sensation of vibration around the super-sensitive anal area can feel mind-blowingly intense. Plus, vibrations can distract your body from any reflexes of resistance, ie the buzz helps relax tense anal muscles.
Read More: Anal Vibrator Best Sellers
5. Prostate Massagers
A prostate massager is an anal sex toy especially for pleasuring the prostate.
A prostate massager is designed to stimulate the prostate, located a couple of inches inside the male-bodied anal canal.
Amazing orgasms can be experienced through prostate massage, and it's not unusual for prostate owners to be able to climax without stimulation of the penis.
All prostate massagers will be curved forward to a slighter or greater degree, as the prostate is located towards the front of the body. Many are C-shaped with a perineum-stimulating base - these are designed for hands-free, stay-in-place pleasure solo or with a partner.
These are the main types of anal sex toys and the kind of pleasure they deliver. We offer more in-depth advice on each of the different toys and how to choose and use them on each of their pages. If you'd like to learn more, head to the relevant section.
Toy for double penetration (vaginal & anal sex at the same time)
Double penetration (DP) is something many couples would like to try.
Double Diver is the best toy we have found for this. Essentially a cock-ring, designed for a penis-owner to wear around the shaft, with the clitoral stimulator buzzing away on a female-bodied partner's clitoris (in missionary and woman-on-top positions) whilst the lower dildo provides anal/double penetration. The Double Diver can also be used in the doggy-style position, of course, but the vulva owner won't reap the rewards of the vibrations.
Double Diver can also be worn on a dildo during strap-on sex.